The Corner

Politics & Policy

George H.W. Bush’s Bad Habit

From the Tuesday Morning Jolt:

Who Is George H.W. Bush Voting For This Year?

A lot of Republicans will not forgive George H.W. Bush for voting for Hillary Clinton, if indeed that is his selection:

Bush, 92, had intended to stay silent on the White House race between Clinton and Donald Trump, a sign in and of itself of his distaste for the GOP nominee. But his preference for the wife of his own successor, President Bill Clinton, nonetheless became known to a wider audience thanks to Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, the former Maryland lieutenant governor and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy.

On Monday, Townsend posted a picture on her Facebook page shaking hands next to the former president and this caption: “The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!”

In a telephone interview, Townsend said she met with the former president in Maine earlier today, where she said he made his preference known that he was voting for a Democrat. “That’s what he said,” she told POLITICO.

A spokesman for the former president says he “will cast as a private citizen in some 50 days will be just that: a private vote cast in some 50 days. He is not commenting on the presidential race in the interim.”

Now, if you’re a former Republican president and you think Donald Trump is the worst possible choice… and you somehow think that Hillary Clinton is the best remaining choice (a bridge too far for many Republicans)… what good does it do you to tell Kathleen Kennedy Townsend? What, he expected her to be discreet?

A sad, continuing flaw for George H.W. Bush, an underrated president, indisputable war hero, and all-around decent man: he trusted the good judgment of Democrats in his budget deals as president, and he still trusts Democrats to have good judgment now.